Beckley hospital expands access to antibody treatment for high-risk COVID patients

BECKLEY, W.Va. — A Beckley hospital is expanding access to antibody treatment and therapy to high-risk COVID-19 patients.

The therapy is the first COVID-19 treatment granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for outpatient use.

Jeri Knowlton, West Virginia area marketing manager for Appalachian Regional Healthcare, said Beckley ARH Hospital will offer the infusion at no cost to patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.

“The earlier that you seek treatment, the better,” she told MetroNews.

The monoclonal antibody treatment is meant to keep a majority of patients out of the hospital. The goal is to administer it within 10 days of on-set symptoms.

“It can shorten the length of your illness and lessen the severity of the symptoms,” Knowlton said.

ARH is able to treat 25 patients per week. To be eligible for treatment, patients must be considered “high risk” and should discuss the therapy with their health care provider first.

In addition to Beckley, infusion sites under this initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have now been established in Landover, MD; San Diego, CA; Detroit, MI; Barnstable County, MA; and Houston, TX.

“Being one of those anchor hospitals across the country is a honor for us and an extension of the work that we’ve been doing all along,” Knowlton said.

Treatment is available at the hospital between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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